Ruel is outrageously talented.
Those were the first words CelebMix found to write about the budding 15-year-old Australian pop star as he played an intimate 2018 set at the Badaboum in Paris.
Fast forward five years and the point still stands, but now Ruel’s talent has grown into a breathtaking 90-minute set in front of 2,300 fans.
The star has spent a huge part of 2023 touring debut album 4TH WALL, a head-turning cinematic first full effort that takes inspiration from The Truman Show and Fight Club. The record’s rich production and visual lyrics make it an immersive listen and, on stage, the tracks burst into life.
Ruel channels Jim Carrey’s Truman Burbank as he strides out to the thumping ‘GO ON WITHOUT ME’, it’s clear the Aussie means business in front of his biggest-ever European crowd.
Ruel becomes Burbank himself as he turns his adolescence into a movie in ‘GROWING UP IS_’ before conducting a raucous singalong for ‘YOU AGAINST YOURSELF’. Only after that trio of hits do the pop star and thousands watching on pause to catch a breath.
The middle section of the night sees Ruel swap the swanky shoes for trainers and ease himself behind the piano to allow that crooning voice that stunned so many as a teenager to steal the show.
The ever-emotional ‘Hard Sometimes’ and pondering ‘SITTING IN TRAFFIC’ are highlights but it’s on the perhaps underrated ‘say it over’ that Ruel is at his most potent.
The star’s Kentish Town show ends as it begins, with a flurry of hits. SG Lewis collaboration ‘Flames’ ups the ante with a bang before early releases ‘Dazes & Confused’ and ‘Younger’ receive an almost feral reaction from fans. It all comes to a euphoric end as the credits roll and Ruel launches into the insanely-catchy ‘I DON’T WANNA BE LIKE YOU’ with a confident smirk.
Ruel clearly intended his landmark headline show at Kentish Town to be a movie and it’s exactly that. This is a showman striding into the peak of his powers.
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